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Prospectors mine playoff gold with comeback win over St. Regis

DEER LODGE – It took the Prospectors to wake up Friday morning against St. Regis, but when the alarm went off in the third quarter they negated a 16-point deficit to claim a 43-40 win. The victory keeps Granite alive in the Consolation Bracket of the MHSA Class C Western Divisional Tournament while the Tigers see their season end.

Both teams started sluggishly with the tip-off, but St. Regis was able take advantage of several Prospector turnovers in the second period to post a 14-4 run that resulted in a 22-11 lead halftime lead.

The Tigers were able to extend that lead to 16 points (32-16) with 4:02 to go in the quarter.

And that’s when two of Granite’s seniors – Preston Metesh and Kade Cutler evidently decided enough was enough.

“I just kicked it into gear, full football mode,” said Cutler of the comeback. “I went to work getting rebounds and getting physical.”

In the next four minutes the Prospectors outscored the Tigers 10-0 to finish the stanza down six, 32-26. Granite continued the run into the fourth, where they tied the game at 32-32 with 6:48 to play on a basket and free throw by Cutler.

The two squads traded leads until 1:10 when they tied the game again at 40-40 on a fast-break basket by Cutler off a steal.

Granite took its final lead of the game with 42.6 seconds to play when a long rebound was collected by Metesh, going the length of the floor before being fouled on a layup attempt by the Tigers’ Tanner Day. Metesh hit both free throws and added a third with 4.2 seconds to play.

But St. Regis had one shot left. After Metesh missed his second freebie, the Tigers called a timeout and set a play to get the ball into John Pruitt. Upon receiving the inbounds pass he took three dribbles and cast up a shot that rattled half way down the rim before careening away.

“We almost got Jackson Nye’d there again,” laughed GHS Head Coach Dustin Keltner after the game. “One of the kids said that in the huddle.

“It was a tale of two halves. We came out and just played like we did against Twin Bridges, except we weren’t playing Twin Bridges. That zone extended out on us and took away our drive lanes and shots to the outside. We couldn’t hit anything the first half. I told one of the officials our nickname should the Masons.”

Keltner noted that one of the keys to Granite opening up their offense in the second half was the play of sophomore Kai O’Donnell, who provided screens at the high post and some key rebounding that gave others opportunities.

“We have some really talented kids and Kade Cutler just decided he was the best athlete on the floor in the second half and just dominated inside,” added Keltner.

Cutler finished with a game-high 18 points, 16 of which came in the seco0nd half. Likewise, Metesh finished 12 points, eight coming in the final 16 minutes of play. Rounding out the local’s scoring was Brian Ward with eight and Andrew Tallon with five.

Caleb Ball led St. Regis with 16.

The Prospectors now play Harrison-Willow Creek in the Consolation semifinals at 11 a.m. in the Powell County gymnasium. For a look at the complete Boys Western Divisional Bracket, CLICK HERE.


St. Regis – 8/14/10/8 – 40

Granite – 7/4/15/17 – 43

St. Regis – CBall 16, Sanford 6, Day 8, Pruitt 10

Granite – Cutler 18, Metesh 12, Ward 8, Tallon 5


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